La Citadelle

the immediate locality
(updated 9-Nov-2002)

La Citadelle is two miles outside the typical French village of St Méard de Gurçon, in an area called the Pays de Montaigne et Gurson. This is roughly bounded by Ste Foy-La-Grand, Montpon-Ménésterol, Villefranche-de-Lonchat, St EmilionMontcaret, and Castillon-la-Bataille.

In our woods

A poplar grove

Vineyards of Bordeaux and Bergerac

Around La Citadelle are our woods. These are have a mixture of small clearings and dense undergrowth, concealing deer and wild boar. To the right, facing the front of the house, is a small vineyard. No other houses are visible from La Citadelle, although our nearest neighbours are only about 600 yards away on the other side of a small wood. Our other woods run down to a small river, about quarter of a mile beyond the house.

A crop of sunflowers

A typical Dordogne village

Small vineyards

Between the woods are small fields, hamlets, and villages. The hamlets are clusters of half a dozen houses, perhaps with a small chateau. The village of St Méard de Gurçon looks rather like the one above, and has about a dozen small shops. As you travel further south and west, the landscape becomes dominated by the vineyards of the Bergerac and St Emilion districts.

Colonnades in Ste Foy

The River Dordogne flowing through Ste Foy

The Chateau des Vigiers

Ten minutes south of St Meard is the 11th Century bastide town of Ste Foy-La-Grande, on the River Dordogne. This is just downstream from Bergerac. The town centre, above, is ringed by restaurants, and there are very pleasant riverside walks. More practically, there are several supermarkets and hypermarkets, as well as a station with regular trains to Bordeaux and Paris. Just south of Ste Foy is the internationally renowned golf course of the Chateau des Vigiers.

Castillon Market on Monday

St Emilion

To the west of Ste Foy is Castillon-la-Bataille, so named because it was the site of the final, decisive battle of the Hundred Years War between the French and the British. This has left no hard feelings - the locals have forgiven the French for overrunning them. Castillon has a huge country market on Mondays. Indeed, you can find a local town with a market every day of the week, including Sunday. Traveling west and north again, you reach the premier wine-producing district of St Emilion. The medieval town, built into the stone hillside is a major tourist attraction throughout the year. Close to Castillon are the important Gallo-Roman remains at Montcaret.

We return to La Citadelle by traveling north-east from Montcaret through the tiny hilltop bastide town of Villefranche-de-Lonchat, with the Lac de Gurson spread beneath it; you will see a picture of this under "swimming". la Citadelle is just three miles or so beyond Villefranche. Alternatively you may return through Montpon-Ménésterol

About La Citadelle

Fishing in the lake